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Dumped Savea will bounce back better: Dagg

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 16/06/2016

Julian Savea (left) and Israel Dagg, pictured at an All Blacks training sessions. © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Julian Savea (left) and Israel Dagg, pictured at an All Blacks training sessions. Julian Savea will feel the pain of rejection - all 60 seconds of it - and come back an even better player, says the All Black who replaced him.

Recalled fullback Israel Dagg knows exactly what Savea is going through after the big winger was dumped for the second Test against Wales in Wellington on Saturday.

The man who sits fifth on the all-time New Zealand Test try-scoring list, with 39 at the age of 25, paid the price for his patchy form this season.

Dagg comes into a reshuffled back three after 11 months of wondering if his Test career was over.

He has known his share of selection highs and lows, and knows just as well how to handle them.

"There's a rule in this team. You can sulk for a minute and then you've got to get over it," Dagg said of his roommate this week.

"I know, deep down, Julian will be hurting. I've felt it and it's not a nice thing, but it makes you hungrier and makes you stronger."

Wales made identical personnel and positional changes to the All Blacks following the home team's 39-21 first-Test win in Auckland.

Both sides have replaced a lock and also rearranged their back three to accommodate a new No.15.

In Wales' case, it is Rhys Patchell, a Cardiff Blues regular at first five-eighth who will make his first Test start.

It is a remarkable rise for the 23-year-old, who wasn't named in the 35-man tour party and was contacted while on a golf course early this week.

He was stunned to be asked to traverse the globe as cover for injured outside backs George North and Gareth Anscombe.

Wales coach Warren Gatland insists Patchell was unlucky to miss the initial tour selection and has shown an instinctive ability at fullback in occasional club appearances there.

"He's quick, he's got a big boot on him and we feel he can do a job for us," Gatland said.

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